|Ken Breivik discusses School Ministries and Released Time Education programs.|
Released Time programs are, in fact, the only legal means of devotionally teaching the Bible during the public school day. To be legal requires that there be parental consent, that the classes be held off the school campus and that no state dollars are used.
Although initially envisioned to have a South Carolina focus, SMI rapidly assumed a national role as it began responding to RTBE interests across the country. It offers training programs on how to operate RTBE programs legally. It works to raise national visibility and conducts RTBE research. Since 2001, SMI has experienced an 13% average annual growth rate in the number of students it serves.
Released Time Bible Education programs bring hope to youth, many of whom come from families who have no church involvement. Research has shown that the students who participate in RTBE perform better both academically and behaviorally. Opening these possibilities to public school students is just too important to their futures for RTBE not to be systematically promoted and advanced throughout all 50 states.
To accomplish this SMI is positioning itself as a truly national organization that supports state level networks and individual programs.
School Ministries is headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina.